In an effort to move a step closer in closing the loop on its value chain, AnyMind Group has acquired a majority stake in a multi-channel network (MCN). Started in 2004, Moindy helps independent music labels and musicians monetize content through various digital platforms. With the acquisition, Moindy will be placed under the CastingAsia portfolio of AnyMindGroup.
With $35.9 million raised to date from investors such as LINE and Jafco Asia, the AnyMindGroup aims to capitalize on the influencer marketing avenue of Moindy, banking on the 500 YouTube and LINE TV channels within its network that reaches over 30 million subscribers that have generated over half a billion monthly views.
The influencer marketing network will fall under the CastingAsia Creators Network, which includes over 35,000 micro and macro influencers in 17 APAC markets, boasting a combined 180 million followers across social media. Adding to the influencer marketing ecosystem, CastingAsia Creators Network aims to offer workshops that help creators with content strategy, audience engagement, and platform optimization.
Similar to the Defy Media model, the acquisition of Moindy means that AnyMind Group now controls both the supply side of the digital advertising ecosystem and the demand side, opening up the potential for greater brand safety measures along with mitigating influencer fraud.
“Having already developed an end-to-end influencer marketing platform that connects brands with influencers, our acquisition of Moindy provides us with expertise into building influencer networks and talent management, and the launch of the CastingAsia Creators Network enables us to provide Asia and beyond with an extremely comprehensive influencer marketing solution,” said Kosuke Sogo, CEO and co-founder of AnyMind Group.
Similar to the marketplace model of the recently launched Whalar in Asia, Sogo plans to offer advertisers an AI-powered discovery function that matches influencers with both campaign and brand needs. Sogo claims that the platform also contains fraud detection and brand safety levers that utilizes historical and real-time campaign and account data to provide marketers and influencers with a transparent environment.
“Ultimately, we want to provide the influencer marketing ecosystem in Asia with extensive technological tools for marketers, and provide a base for influencers to grow further – educating and solidifying the industry for safe, transparent and effective influencer marketing,” said Sogo.
With the acquisition and brand extensions, AnyMind Group will need to demonstrate the effectiveness of influencer marketing as an effective tactic for driving campaign goals, in order to gain traction in the regional and global marketplace. In a survey from 2018 by the Association of National Advertisers, only 36% of marketers believed their influencer strategies were effective.
“So if most businesses believe their influencer strategies aren’t delivering results, what exactly are they are paying for?,” said James Dutton, MD of APAC at TrafficGuard. “Unfortunately, more often than not, they are paying for fraud inflated vanity metrics that have zero impact on their bottom line.”
Digital advertising fraud in the APAC region amounts to $17 million per day, due to fake traffic and fake ad engagements in display advertising and deception in followers, purchases, and post engagements in influencer marketing. A month ago, Facebook took a legal stance against Chinese companies selling fake accounts which is a confirmation that fake activity is happening on the platform but doesn’t solve the underlying issues.
“Investing in influencer, or any type of online advertising, without a sophisticated verification process in place is a reckless use of marketing budgets,” said Dutton.